U.S. companies' international strategies turn sour, as Europe faces a future with an oligopoly of power companies.
While the European Union is pushing to give all industrial and commercial customers electric choice by 2004, giant incumbent European utilities are increasingly dominating power markets across Europe and the United Kingdom.
but outsourcers could be cutting in.Wholesale competition and the prospect of competitive retailing are leading many electric utilities to turn their distribution activities into discrete business units. But the emergence of the "DisCo" as a distinct entity may only mark the first step in a more radical disaggregation.
Why the distribution business may see radical change isn't immediately apparent.
U.S. utilities find
a wealth of opportunity
It drew more than $7 billion in investment from U.S. electric utility subsidiaries at the end of 1995. Ongoing privatization will likely draw billions more.
Five electric distribution companies and a generating company have been sold in Australia's southeastern State of Victoria, and four more generating companies are expected to go on the block.